At a certain point, shows and movies set in the Dark Ages all look the same. Everything’s muddy, everyone has a heavy sword, and there’s a lot of elaborately braided hair. Everyone’s lit by candlelight, and their sweat shines through the layer of filth that generally covers their skin. There’s often someone with grotesque facial deformities (bonus points if that person is some kind of oracle) and some relationship or interactions that break sex taboos of today. So it’s not that surprising that Vikings, History Channel’s new Norse drama, would resemble Game of Thrones, which pulls much of its aesthetic from the European Middle Ages. But Viking really, strongly resembles GoT, visually, though, not storywise. And it’s not that Vikings shouldn’t — after all, GoT is “copying” actual Viking stuff, not vice versa — but man, it is striking. Last night’s premiere had shot after shot and scene after scene that looked straight out of Westeros.
This is not King Joffrey. I mean, it’s not not him, but technically this is a whole other show, and this kid is someone completely different. (Who shares a headband affinity with Cindel from The Ewok Adventure.) So far he seems like a good guy.
This jet-black bird doesn’t have three eyes, so it’s completely different.
Heads! Everybody likes to hoist a chopped-off noggin, but this scene even included not-Joffrey being specifically instructed to look right at the decapitation. (Arya Stark was forced to look away.)
It’s not as if Game of Thrones is the only show that can have dramatic landscape shots like this. But this is so clearly the outskirts of Winterfell.
Oh, this is just a sundial! Any resemblance to Game of Thrones’ opening credits is a total coincidence.
On the right is a cloak from the Catelyn Stark collection.
Again, GoT does not have a monopoly on scraggly, scar-faced beardos with articulated clusters of facial hair. But if either show wanted to save on hair, makeup, and costumes, this dude could do double-duty, no problem.